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Know Columbus

Here's some insight into Christopher Columbus:

"I ordered and begged them not to cause offence.."

Right before Columbus' return trip to Spain, Columbus left 3 men in charge of his crew at La Navidad with specific instructions including,


"Fourthly, I ordered and begged them not to cause offence or injury to any of the Indians, male or female, and not to take anything against
their will. I especially told them to avoid committing any insult or violence against the women which might cause outrage, or give a bad
example, or bring us into disrepute among the Indians, who are sure that we have all come from Heaven and are ambassadors of the
heavenly virtues." January 2, 1493

At some point, after Columbus had left for his return trip to Spain, those left behind did terrorize the natives despite Columbus' strict orders to respect them.  Upon his return Columbus found La Navidad destroyed and his men all dead.  Chief Guacanagari told Columbus what had happened.

"Over dinner, Columbus learned that the men had been hoarding gold that they had either found or stolen, and had not reported it for the Crown. They had also been taking women and even girls as concubines." (Columbus and the Quest for Jerusalem, p133)

Columbus believed Guacanagari. Columbus did not exact revenge like his men demanded.  Columbus walked away and created a new settlement 160 kilometers away from La Navidad. Columbus wanted peaceful trade with the natives and his men hated him for it.

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